Little Fish Tattoos

Little Fish Tattoos

How beautiful are these koi tattoos? I’m noticing a color pattern in pairs of koi…purple and blue. The colors go together so perfectly and offer a more magical depiction of these fish that are so often found in orange, red and black hues. The artist did a wonderful job here; it looks as if these were stroked on with brushes rather than needles. I’m always so impressed by pieces like this. This lucky lady gets to sport these koi fish tattoos forever, always to be admired for their beauty and strength.
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Little Fish Tattoos

A simple, yet intricate koi fish design, this thigh tattoo is just really pretty and lovely. A koi fish can hold different meanings based off of the direction it’s found swimming. In this case, the upstream depiction could mean the person has overcome obstacles and gained the strength needed to continue against the current. Life can be an uphill battle, but if this koi can persist so can you! Into thigh tattoos, but koi not so much? Check out 101 of the sexiest thigh tattoos here.

Little Fish Tattoos

It’s amazing how the same fish can be so drastically depicted in a tattoo. A total 180 from #24, this koi fish tattoo screams color and fun. I love the whimsical, floral accents in this upstream flowing koi. The colors here transport the viewer to some magical koi fairyland and I can’t get enough. As much as I love simple all black tattoos, pieces like this remind me how freakin’ lovely color can be. Looking for a super cool sea-creature tattoo, but not feeling the koi? Check out 20 awesome octopus tattoos here.
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Little Fish Tattoos

Symbols of good luck, fortune, love and friendship, koi fish are often found in Japanese water gardens and can be distinguished by their unique colors and patterned scales. The word “koi” means carp in Japanese but it’s also a homophone for another word that means “affection” and “love.” There are many varieties of koi making it easy for a tattoo artist to have fun with the design and make a truly unique piece of art for the wearer. These fish can also reach lengths of up to three feet depending on their living conditions. Koi fish share an ancestor with goldfish (no, not the delicious cracker kind) and while they may be similar in appearance, you’ll notice from the tattoos below that koi have barbels (those funky whisker-looking things).
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Little Fish Tattoos

This tattoo is so cool and could definitely be interpreted as a many number of things. I like to think of it as a king of all koi’s, perhaps even part dragon (as koi’s are thought to turn into — more on that later). I like this tattoo’s sense of mystique and whimsy. The crown is a nice touch as it further symbolizes the strength and power of the fish that already stands for these things. I love tattoos that are truly unique as it gives us more insight into the personality of the person bearing it. Tattoos are not only works of art but extensions of our experiences, ideas and values.
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Little Fish Tattoos

I love coordinating tattoos like this yin and yang one, but the deep, rich colors are what really stood out to me. The placement is really unique and cool, unlike any other koi fish tattoo I’ve come across. I hope this person threw away all of their socks because it’d be a bummer to ever have to cover up these fish.
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Little Fish Tattoos

This massive back tattoo really displays the enormity to which a koi can grow in real life. Another beautiful work of art, I love this particular koi fish tattoo because it looks like it was done with a piece of charcoal. The shading is magnificently done. Did you know most koi fish outlive their owners? Some can live up to 200 years! Crazy. Since they live for so long, koi fish are often passed from generation to generation in Japan.

Little Fish Tattoos

I imagine this fish going, “glurp, glurp,” right in my face. This tattoo also reminds me of the fish I saw in the Portland Japanese Garden for this was a very common pattern among the koi there. It’s like a fish that wanted to be a cow but added in some orange spots, fins and barbels and was like golly, I guess I’ll have to be a koi instead. I like the blue/green outline situation happening here as it makes the koi’s coloring stand out even more.
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Placed on the calf muscle, this upstream koi is a bold symbol of strength and success. I love how the line details in this piece make it look like a sketch (but like a really awesome sketch that’s actually a beautiful finished piece). Lord knows I couldn’t freehand a sketch to save a stick-figure’s life. The addition of the pink lotus flower makes for a nice accent in this piece, given the size and location. Lotus flowers are often paired with koi fish since they grow out of the types of ponds where koi are typically found. Just as the koi started as a little fish and grew into a strong dragon (according to legends…though if you’ve witnessed this I’d like to hear about it), the lotus starts out in a muddy pond and still flourishes with beauty.
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These three koi fish appear to be flowing along on what appears to be this person’s back. I like the added air bubbles, which I first mistook for freckles, and the overall design of this piece. The tails look like feathers, soft enough to touch! Speaking of feathers, check out 35 amazing feather tattoos here.
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Love this piece!! It’s super bright and bold, flowing down this woman’s back. This koi fish tattoo looks as if it has just plopped down with a splash into this stream; it’s wonderful. Again, we see a pretty, pink lotus flower paired with the koi who appears to have slight blue shading in its scales. I’m not sure if the blue in the scales is meant to be splashes of water on the fish or the actual color of its scales. Either way, I like how it adds to the overall piece which is great in size and scale (pun totally intended).

I’m not a Pisces, but this tattoo certainly makes me wish I was. I absolutely love the color choices here and the yin and yang display of the koi. Blue koi fish are said to represent peace, tranquility and calmness while purple has always symbolized royalty and wealth. In Taoism, yin and yang symbolize the dueling sides of all things and the perfect balance and harmony of them. The circular motion of the koi represents the belief that all things are connected. A beautiful piece with wonderful meaning, this koi fish tattoo is a joy.
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Look at this shoulder piece! This koi fish tattoo is beautifully blue, but guess what? It’s a realistic depiction too because, yes!, blue koi can be found in nature. I’m not joking! As true as the sky is blue, these Japanese carp come in blue too. The line work here is really fantastic with all of the scale details as well as the fins. And take a look at that eye! With bits of gold and green, this upstream fella doesn’t want to be messed with…but admired from afar will do just fine. A symbol of strength, power and longevity, this koi fish tattoo is a mighty piece of art.
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The writing in this tattoo says: “We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.” I love the koi fish forming a yin-yang symbol in this piece around those words. It’s meaningful and beautifully done with bright, bold colors and lovely line work.
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Not sure what the symbol in the middle of this design means, but the koi fish here are artfully done and rich in color. Flowing right down this woman’s back, this koi fish tattoo stands out as a unique and playful piece. Interested in Japanese culture? Check out more Japanese style tattoo designs right here.
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How cool is this?! A classic infinity sign re-imagined with a super cute koi fish! With every tattoo design I find, I love to see if somehow has turned it into an infinity symbol. It’s such a popular tattoo these days so it’s neat to see how people put a unique spin on it. I especially like this depiction as koi are so representative of love, strength and determination; paired with the infinity symbol, the person is reminded of these traits forever and ever and ever. I also really like the face on the koi here because something about it looks really adorable and innocent, like a cute little cartoon baby koi.
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Look at these cute little fellas being all koi! Another pair in purple and blue, these guys represent the Pisces zodiac sign belonging to those born from February 19 through March 20. The twelfth sign of the zodiac, Pisces are fluid and easy-going, compassionate and charitable. One might even say these folks tend to “go with the flow,” much like these koi fish.

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